The turning point in Dorian’s life, as well as the turning point in the novel, is the death of Sybil Vane. This is when Dorian chooses to accept Lord Henry’s hedonistic and selfish lifestyle and is what ultimately corrupts him completely. Something noteworthy happens here as well that ties into the preface and seems to be an underlying theme throughout the novel: the distinction between life and art. Dorian remarks that Sybil has “passed into the sphere of art” with her suicide and is able to detach himself emotionally by viewing her as a character in a play or a piece of art herself. Dorian passes into the sphere of art himself when his painting begins to change, rather than the other way around. In this way, he is life a piece of art, never changing.
The Picture of Dorian Gray 1-10